Shops to be protected from becoming homes with new rule - full list of areas covered

Gardner Street in North Laine, one of the protected areas <i>(Image: Andrew Gardner)</i>
Gardner Street in North Laine, one of the protected areas (Image: Andrew Gardner)

A new planning policy aimed at preventing shopping areas from disappearing is coming into force.

The policy, brought in by Brighton and Hove City Council, removes the automatic right of owners of commercial premises, including offices, shops, restaurants and cafes, to change them to residential use without the need for planning permission.

The change applies to specific areas of the city.

The new rule, known as an article 4 direction, was required following a government decision to introduce national permitted development rights.

These gave owners of a wide range of commercial premises permission to change them to residential use, such as houses or flats, if they wanted to.

Permitted development means that an owner can make certain changes to their property without needing to apply to the council for planning permission.

At a meeting last month, the council’s tourism, equalities, communities and culture committee agreed that the permitted development rights could result in an unacceptable negative impact on shopping and office areas in the city and that a direction should be put in place.

The direction does not mean that all planning applications for a change of use will be refused.

Instead, it requires the submission of an application for consideration by the planning committee, who determine applications on their merits and by how well they fit with our planning policies.

The article 4 direction applies to Class E commercial, business and service premises including offices, retail, restaurants and cafes, indoor sport facilities and some healthcare facilities.

The government’s department for levelling up, housing and communities agreed that the direction will apply to 32 locations across the city.

Councillor Martin Osborne, who co-chairs the tourism, equalities, communities and culture committee, said: “Local commercial centres and local shopping parades are important for the sustainability of our neighbourhoods.

“They provide easily accessible shops and services which can reduce the need for residents to make longer journeys into larger centres.

“Reducing the need to travel is particularly important for more vulnerable residents and those without access to a car.

“Protecting local shopping parades helps prevent increases in traffic movements and congestion and negative effects on air quality. The article 4 direction will contribute towards our zero-carbon goal and support the council’s ‘20-minute neighbourhood’ initiative.”

The protected areas are:

  • The Lanes, North Street and West Street

  • Western Road

  • North Laine and Queens Road

  • The New England Quarter and London Road

  • Preston Road

  • St James's Street, Edward Street and Circus Street

  • Lewes Road

  • Hove Town Centre

  • Boundary Road and Station Road

  • Beaconsfield Road

  • Brunswick Town

  • Eldred Avenue

  • Fiveways and Hollingbury Place

  • Old London Road and Ladies Mile Road

  • Longridge Avenue

  • Lustrells Vale

  • Mill Lane

  • Portland Road and Richardson Road

  • Rottingdean High Street

  • Seven Dials

  • St George’s Road

  • The Grenadier

  • Warren Way and Warren Road

  • Whitehawk Road

  • Cowley Drive

  • Goldstone Villas and Hove Park Villas)

  • Islingword Road

  • The junction of Old Shoreham Road and Sackville Road

  • Preston Drove

  • Valley Road

  • Victoria Terrace

  • Woodland Parade